The primary mission of the Great South Bay Audubon Society is to advocate for the conservation of habitats for native birds and other native wildlife on Long Island.

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2009 Nature Walk/Event Recap and Reports

Morton National Wildlife Refuge

November 15, 2009

Click photos to enlarge

Steve D'Amato provided most of these wonderful photos below on the Sunday, November 15th Morton National Wildlife Refuge Field Trip.  Please click the photos to enlarge and view the credits and captions.

Sunken Meadow

November 10, 2009

Tuesday’s, November 10, 2009, Louise Titus Memorial Mid-Week Field Trip to Sunken Meadow was attended by 22 happy birders. Pictured is Field Trip Coordinator, Larry Merryman. Click photo to enlarge

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

November 8, 2009

1.Weather conditions: Sunny and mild temperatures
2. Three (3) painted turtles seen @ trail marker 14.

Please see photos below courtesy of Steve D’Amato.

Trip Leaders: John Gluth, Robert Grover, and Alice Heller

Field Trip Report submitted by: Alice Heller and Steve D’Amato

Special thanks to GSBAS’s Trip Leader, Mike Cooper, who also attended and heard, identified birds in flight and excelled in the art of phishing.

Bird Species seen/heard (“H”) at Wertheim’s Impoundment Area and river trail listed in phylogenetic order:

  1. Mute Swan
  2. American Black Duck
  3. Mallard
  4. Northern Pintail
  5. Lesser Scaup
  6. Hooded Merganser
  7. Pied-billed Grebe
  8. Double-crested Cormorant
  9. Great Blue Heron
  10. Great Egret
  11. Northern Harrier
  12. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  13. Red-tailed Hawk
  1. Virginia Rail (H) (glimpsed by some)
  2. American Coot
  3. Greater Yellowlegs
  4. Least Sandpiper
  5. Dunlin
  6. Great Black-backed Gull
  7. Belted Kingfisher
  8. Downy Woodpecker
  9. Northern Flicker
  10. Blue Jay
  11. American Crow
  12. Black-capped Chickadee
  13. Tufted Titmouse
  1. Marsh Wren
  2. Golden-crowned Kinglet (H)
  3. Eastern Bluebird (H)
  4. Hermit Thrush
  5. American Robin
  6. European Starling
  7. Cedar Waxwing (H)
  8. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  9. Savannah Sparrow
  10. Song Sparrow
  11. Swamp Sparrow
  12. Red-winged Blackbird (in flight)
  13. Eastern Meadowlark (in flight)

Click photos to enlarge

Steve D'Amato took some of these wonderful photos below on the Sunday, November 8th Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge Field Trip.

Connetquot River State Park Preserve Breakfast and Birding

September 26, 2009

Click the photo to enlarge

Through a collaboration of Great South Bay Audubon, Connetquot River State Park Preserve and Friends of Connetquot a Bird & Breakfast program was held, as an Important Bird Area (“IBA”) activity. A group of 20 people led by John Gluth and Edith Wilson walked the trails of the park from 9:30 to 12:00p.m. and observed the following birds:

  1. Am Robin
  2. Am. Black Duck
  3. Am. Goldfinch
  4. Am. Kestrel
  5. Belted Kingfisher
  6. Black-and-White Warbler
  7. Black-capped Chickadee
  8. Black-throated Blue Warbler
  9. Blue Jay
  10. Canada Goose
  11. Carolina Wren
  12. Cedar Waxwing
  13. Chipping Sparrow
  14. Cooper’s Hawk
  15. Double-crested Cormorant
  1. Downy Woodpecker
  2. Eastern Phoebe
  3. Eastern Towhee
  4. Gadwall
  5. Gray Catbird
  6. Great Black-backed Gull
  7. Great Blue Heron
  8. Hairy Woodpecker
  9. Herring Gull
  10. House Sparrow
  11. Mallard
  12. Mute Swan
  13. No. Pintail
  14. Northern Flicker
  15. Osprey
  1. Pine Warbler
  2. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  3. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  4. Red-eyed Vireo
  5. Red-tailed Hawk
  6. Ring-billed Gull
  7. Scarlet Tanager
  8. Song Sparrow
  9. Swamp Sparrow
  10. Tufted Titmouse
  11. White-throated Sparrow
  12. Wood Duck
  13. Yellow-rumped Warbler

All attendees got to see a beautiful rainbow as we wound up our morning Connetquot Birding Field Trip and a small painted turtle.

— Co-Field Trip Leader, Edith Wilson

GSBAS Celebrates International Migratory Bird Day At Wertheim NWR

May 9, 2009

On Saturday May 9, 2009, a group of 12 led by GSBAS Chapter President, Alice Heller, met at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley for the International Migratory Bird Day bird walk. In the trees around the refuge headquarters, there were many Yellow Warblers, Northern Parula, and a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Ken Thompson and I saw a drake Wood Duck flying up the river.

We proceeded to the Impoundment area of the refuge. A group of raucous crows alerted us to the presence of a large bird perched in a pine. The crows flushed a Great-horned Owl from the tree; it flew across the Impoundment road, landed briefly, and continued to fly from the pursuing crows.

When we arrived in the marshy area of the Impoundment, the fog began to roll in. We noted that the water level of the marsh was quite high. We found numerous Great Egrets. As we continued on, we found Forster's Terns, many of which were perched on the Wood Duck boxes. Tree Swallows were seen flying low over the marsh, with one pair nesting in a dead snag. A Canada Goose nesting pair was closely guarding their roadside nest containing 4 eggs. Farther up the trail, our group found Savannah Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and a few Common Yellowthroats.

In the wooded area of the Impoundments, we found many songbirds, namely Brown Thrasher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Magnolia, Black-and White, and Pine Warblers. A few members of our group had the privilege of seeing a Ruby-throated Hummingbird zoom by. Back in the marshy area, there were three White-crowned Sparrows perched in a bare bush.

On the way out of the Impoundments, members of the group found Eastern Towhee, Wood Duck, and Blue-winged Warbler. Our trip had a grand total of 52 species.

Bluebird Nest Box Installation

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Photos from the Bluebird Nest Box Installation at Connetquot River State Park Preserve
(Pictures courtesy of Mike & Michael McBrien)

West End/Jones Beach

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Photos from this trip: Click photos to enlarge

Here are some photographs from the February 7th, 2009 field trip. Basically the only three species of birds I took photographs of were the Northern Saw-whet Owl, Savannah Sparrow, and Harlequin Duck. With the detail sections of the Savannah Sparrow and Harlequin drake, I also brought them into Adobe Photoshop to modify those details brightness and thus bring out the colors a little better. It didn't help that much with the Harlequin drake. - Steven D'Amato

Below are some photos taken by Michael McBrien on 2/7/2009:

Below are some photos taken by John Gluth on 2/7/2009:

  1. American Black Duck
  2. American Crow
  3. American Robin
  4. American Tree Sparrow
  5. Black Scoter
  6. Bonaparte’s Gull
  7. Brant
  8. Bufflehead
  9. Canada Goose
  10. Chipping Sparrow
  11. Common Loon
  12. Cooper’s Hawk
  13. Dark-eyed Junco
  14. European Starling
  15. Great Black-backed Gull
  16. Great Cormorant
  17. Harlequin Duck
  1. Herring Gull
  2. Horned Grebe
  3. Horned Lark
  4. House Finch
  5. House Sparrow
  6. Lapland Longspur
  7. Long-tailed Duck
  8. Mallard
  9. Merlin
  10. Mourning Dove
  11. Mute Swan
  12. Northern Cardinal
  13. Northern Flicker
  14. Northern Harrier
  15. Northern Mockingbird
  16. Northern Pintail
  17. Northern Saw-whet Owl
  1. Peregrine Falcon
  2. Red-breasted Merganser
  3. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  4. Red-necked Grebe
  5. Red-tailed Hawk
  6. Red-throated Loon
  7. Ring-billed Gull
  8. Rock Pigeon
  9. Ruddy Turnstone
  10. Sanderling
  11. Savannah Sparrow
  12. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  13. Short-eared Owl
  14. Snow Bunting
  15. Snowy Owl
  16. Song Sparrow
  17. Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Now if any of you can remember any other birds which I am leaving out, let me know. If any of you would like to know where we saw any of the birds listed above that were not seen by all of us, I will try to get back to you with the answers.

American Museum of National History, Ornithology Dept. Tour

February 1, 2009

Photos from this trip: Click photos to enlarge

(Pictures courtesy of Michael McBrien Sr. & Barbara McBrien)

Michael McBrien Jr. Reports: Our group of 14 began the tour of the Ornithology Department of the American Museum of Natural History, lead by Peter Capainolo from the museum. Peter first showed us and discussed, in depth, the study skins of the Birds of Paradise and the evolution of these birds by isolation and genetic variation. We saw a species of racquet-tailed hummingbird, and a Harpy Eagle whose talons were enormous. He discussed and exhibited three subspecies of the Peregrine Falcon. Mr. Capainolo took out skins of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Unlike the male and female Pileated Woodpecker, the male Ivory-billed has a red crest and the female a black one. He showed us the differences between the underwing pattern of the Pileated and Ivory-billed Woodpecker. After seeing the Ivory-billed skins, we proceeded to the laboratory where the ornithologists prepare the skins. We saw Pileated Woodpecker skins that Mr. Capainolo had recently prepared, as well as a Broad-winged Hawk family, Ruffed Grouse and Blackburnian Warbler. In the lab, were also skeletons of many species of birds, including Black Vulture, Wild Turkey and Common Redpoll.

We concluded our trip by viewing a few of the bird mounts that previously had been on display in the museum. Herons, Loons, and Grebes were just a few of the species we saw.

Our group had a great day and learned so much. It's a field trip we won't soon forget.